Friday, February 8, 2008

Is it Mid-March Yet?

(End of summer, 2007. Wow, but I miss my garden.)

MID-MARCH NOW! I just got my seeds (hoo-ray!) and I'm simply itchin' to start the wee green babies. Given that I live in the Great White North, starting them now would do me no good. Might relieve the niggling, but t'would only end in heartbreak.

Ordered from Johnny's Selected Seeds this year, after reading "Gardening When It Counts" by Steve Solomon. His book is worth it just for illustrations of root systems, and it's positively full of great information. For sure, it's one of the best gardening books I own. Wish I had a patch of dirt (that is, dirt not in containers) so I could use his techniques. He even teaches you how to sharpen a shovel. Great stuff. He recommends Johnny's, so I decided to try them.

Here are the seeds I ordered:
Bush snap beans: Foremost
Bush squash: Eight Ball and Gold Rush
Pimento: Lipstick
Pepper: Round of Hungary
3 tomatoes: San Marzano, Pink Beauty, and Japanese Black Trifele
Asian Greens: Happy Rich and Vitamin Green
Lettuce: Romaine and Green Bib Buttercrunch
Chard: Fordhook
Finocchio (a new challenge this year- never grown it)
And on a total lark, I ordered an edible flower mix. Just curious, is all.

I'll grow from last year's seeds: Genovese basil, and probably another Paul Robeson tomato. Best tomato I've ever had, hands down.

If you must know, there are about a thousand other things I'd grow/do if I had dirt/ space. Foremost, I'd go completely nuts with tomatoes. and speaking of nuts- I'd like a few almond or hazelnut trees. And fruit trees- peaches and figs. And blueberries, gooseberries, and lingonberries. I'd really love to grow drying gourds. Also, various types of potatoes. A giant mess of herbs. Lots of bee and butterfly plants. And I'd be doing it all permaculture-style.

Oh yes, and I'd have bees, and a few chickens. And I'd collect rain water. I'd want to expand on my bio-machine with a greywater setup. And I'd like to operate a small-scale rabbit rescue, because not only do I love me some house rabbits, but then my little pink wormkids would never be without the buns' delicious and nutritious poop.

Ok, sh'maybe in a few years.

In other news: Witnessed a teeny, tiny sliver of blue sky earlier today. That's highly unusual for Detroit in February.


Rabbits' Guy said...

I thinke we ALL miss that garden. Hope you get to grow some gourds sometime. Quite amazing to see them and watch them change. It is a bit too cool here, but I have managed a few, many varietys.

Are there some community pea patches around there where you can farm a plot?

L.Bo Marie said...

lol.. you just wrote all that I want on my land!
when I get land....
don't have a full out grey water set up, but we do keep a large bucket in the bathtub to collect that water from first turning on the tap/whatever leaks from the faucet- to use for flushing the toilets and watering plants... we reduced our water consumption by half in our old apartment just doing that, by putting a filled 500ml water bottle in the tank of our toilet and by the "if it's yellow let it mellow" rule.

L.Bo Marie said...

ps, added you to my blogrole, hope you don't mind :)

Grant said...

Holy cow! How do you even get out there to water and harvest!? I plan on planting a garden for the first time ever this year (I'm a late bloomer, I guess). Even though I have a lot more land available, I just hope it can come close to being as bountiful as yours.

ilex said...

Grant-- Yeah, it's sort of a tight fit. We had a little grill-out for 2 couples last summer, and it was, well, an intimate gathering. There is a small walkway between plants, but only I fit comfortably through it.
Do you know about Steve Solomon's other books? He used to live in the Pacific NW, and he wrote a gardening book specifically for the issues you Northwesterners face. It's called "Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades".

Divine Miss L.Bo, thanks so much for the add! Wanna start a commune? You're doing better than I am with the yellow/ mellow. It doesn't seem to stick in this household.

Rabbit-Saint-- there are a lot of spaces I could seek out. But, there's the small matter of the day-job. I work long hours, and the patch would suffer. I'm holding out for a double or triple lot in Detroit after we sell the condo. That's a few years away yet. That deck garden is plenty of work, believe me.

L.Bo Marie said...

hahahahaha!!!! you have no idea!!!
my friends and I have been joking about buying a plot of land... I was up north visiting one in the fall... just to see how it worked, they've got 100+ acres, and each family has their own home... they set it up as they like, most of the 30 families have running water, but half? have no electricity- except solar and lady said she plans her activities based on how much power they might take. The girl I know that lives there has no water, or electricity, and grows most of her food.

lol, I'd have to wean myself off the computer first ;)

Rabbits' Guy said...

Interesting ... I was listening to a gardening show today in the car and that Solomon book was mentioned as one of the best for the Pacific Northwest maritime climate.

Me - I'm just happy to grow in the real summer whatever I can!

heather t said...

Hi - I lost your link and found you again through Bean Sprouts. Anyway, if you have neglected vacant lots nearby, why not discreetly appropriate a small section for your own garden? If it goes well, you can make it bigger next year.